Clark's Eye on Books

Clark I reviews books and sometimes writes them!

Suffer the Children

The Case against Labeling and Medicating

And an Effective Alternative

Author:  Marilyn Wedge

ISBN: 978-0-393-33792-1, Pages: 244,   $26.95, Publication Date: March 28, 2011, Hardcover, Published by:  W. W. Norton & Company.

“Suffer The Children” by Marilyn Wedge can be considered a guidebook for those families who are facing the difficult task of raising children while they are facing daunting hardships in their lives. Many families are suffering with loss of jobs and the attendant economic hardships these cause. Is it any wonder that many children are acting out with their fears of what will become of them and their parents?


Financial worries permeate many families and this causes conflict between mothers and fathers.  Having no place to take their bickering they do it at home.  Conflict between parents does not necessarily mean they will divorce, but what it does mean is that they will try to find solutions which will work for them. Younger children do not understand that during these trying times mom and dad still love each other. They also love others in the family. 


Marilyn Wedge has a PhD from the University of Chicago. She is a family therapist in private practice in California.  “Suffer the Children” peeks into what she does for families by helping them solve their problems without medicating their children. Many school authorities, doctors, and other professionals mean well when they prescribe medication and diagnose what appear to be symptoms of ailments which can be treated by pills. What Dr. Wedge advocates is coordinating family treatment by solving the underlying problems within the family. 


She accomplishes her amazing results by meeting with the parents, children, and other siblings by getting to the root cause of the problem which affects them.  In one case the father had broken his arm. The child had thought the father would never go to work again and would be without his job forever. Dr. Wedge analyzed the situation and advised the parents to not just explain it was temporary, but to do affirmative things which would give the child a feeling of comfort and thusly a better understanding of the situation. Adults realize when one parent is incapacitated with a cast that this is temporary, however, when children are at a young age it is very hard for them to grasp. However,


A technique employed by Dr. Wedge is a worry book. At the first meeting with the child she will introduce a spiral notebook and give directions which encourage the children to write down those things which come up between sessions which cause concern. She will then go over these problems and find out how her therapy is working. Dr. Wedge realizes success when the child stops writing in the book because things which were bad at the start have changed.


“Suffer the Children” is a book for professionals to examine their practices in a different light. Medication in the right framework is definitely an asset, but many of the concerns can be resolved by therapy. School grades can and do improve. Conflicting relationships with other children dissipate and become wholesome. Dr. Wedge advocates that parents can also benefit by reading this book which can enlighten and provide a path to a more meaningful atmosphere.


This book is highly recommended.



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